The ultimate realtime weather map for the inhabitants of our blue, not green planet
One month ago, we learned about Cameron Beccario's excellent global wind map.
He's been improving the web page at
earth.nullschool.net (you must click this!)and it boasts many new functions. Note that you may always click the label "earth" in the lower left corner of that page to get settings, legend (meaning of colors: hover over a color on that scale for a second to see the corresponding numerical value!), or make the settings disappear again.
Overlay: wind. Winds nearly 100 km/h currently exist on the Southern side of the Janus vortex (Northeast from Canada). The winds become stronger and more uniform as you increase the altitude; 250 hPa seems like the prettiest Goldilocks elevation.
The settings allow you to switch between local vs universal time, see the legend (the colors), learn about the source of the data, change the moment, go to your actual geographic location, choose the height according to the pressure (applies to the wind and temperature data; the water measures are always "inclusive" while the pressure is always translated to the sea level and its height-dependence is mostly trivial, anyway), choose the overlay mode, and pick your favorite projection (there are 8 choices, many of them allow you to see the whole surface at once and the deformations are funny).
There are numerous overlay modes that are being shown in the six screenshots on this page; I took them in the Chrome full screen (F11) mode.
These overlay modes include "none", "wind", "temperature", "total precipitable water", "total cloud water", and "mean sea level pressure".
Overlay: temperature (temp). Now, you may find temperatures from –50 °C in Northern Russia (all of Antarctica is warmer than –40 °C now: the penguins enjoy the summer) to +40 °C in central Africa as well as East-central Australia. If you're an American annoyed by the –20 °C temperatures, move to Southwestern Alaska where it's above the freezing point right now! ;-) Oceans' temperatures are less variable. At the maximum altitude of 10 hPa (30 km or so), the Arctic goes up to –75 °C while the equator is around –45 °C and the currently warmest Antarctica near –28 °C.
The "earth" button also offers you an "about" page with lots of extra data, Facebook ("like" it!) and Twitter home pages, and a link to the Japanese language-based edition of that page.
Overlay: total precipitable water (TPW). Antarctica, Mongolia, Greenland, and many other places have less than 1 km/m2 while the quantity reaches 60 kg/m2 in the equatorial Pacific, 40 kg/m2 in the East from Janus, and it is high elsewhere, too. Note that a "kilogram per squared meter" is a "liter per squared meter" which is a "millimeter" when it rains down.
I remind you that you may not only (hold left button plus) drag and zoom in/out the map (mouse wheel is enough) but also left-click at a place of the map and get some local information in the numerical form.
Overlay: total cloud water (TCW). Some places (East from Janus) show above 2 kg/m2 but many more other places show 0.000 kg/m2 (clear sky, sunny); this quantity is clearly much smaller than TPW above because only a tiny portion of water in the atmosphere is contained in the clouds (small droplets), most of it is vapor (waiting to be condensed and become precipitation when the pressure or temperatures change and exceed a threshold of relative 100% or so humidity). Clouds look extremely visible but they're often equivalent just to micrometers-thick layer of water! A typical cloud droplet has diameter of 10-20 microns.
All the screenshots in this blog post may be clicked at and magnified. In all of them, you see the vortex of the Janus winter storm that is still affecting the weather in the U.S.
Overlay: mean sea level pressure (MSLP). The minimum inside the Janus depression is about 966 hPa right now (it is a depression similar to tropical cyclones; the lower pressure at the center "attracts" the circulating air that is otherwise "repelled" from the center by the centrifugal force, if you allow me to use a rotating frame and fictitious forces); the center of the continental U.S. approaches up to 1050 hPa – almost 10% higher pressure than inside Janus.